Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, Tecumseh, Nebraska
March 2, 2017
Almost exactly two years after a major uprising at Tecumseh, approximately 40 prisoners refused orders to return to their cells. Prison staff left the day room of the housing unit and locked the doors, preventing the prisoners from moving to other units. During the uprising, prisoners set fires and destroyed prison infrastructure. Two prisoners, Michael Galindo and Damon Fitzgerald were murdered by other prisoners during the uprising.
According to prison authorities, the uprising began after prison staff confiscated about 150 pounds of homemade alcohol.
A report by the National Institute of Corrections determined that “TSCI is a correctional facility that is bordering on a crisis condition where staff and inmates both expressed concerns about safety and the control of the facility.” According to the report, many of the same issues of understaffing and lack of programming that contributed to the Mother’s Day riot in 2015 continue to pervade the prison.
Prisoner Eric Ramos was charged with murder following the uprising and pleaded not-guilty. In August, 2018 his trial was declared a mistrial after the judge in the case learned that three witnesses in the case (all prison investigators) had met over the weekend in violation of a court order.
“2 inmates killed in disturbance at Tecumseh State Prison“, Omaha World-Herald, March 3, 2017.
“Murder trial in 2017 Nebraska prison riot ends in mistrial,” WOWT News, August 13, 2018.
Office of Inspector General of the Nebraska Correctional System 2016/2017 Annual Report, Doug Koebernick, nd.